French marathon swimmer Aurélie Muller has been disqualified for dunking her Italian opponent near the finish line at the Rio Olympics.
The Olympian had won the silver medal position in the 10km open water swim event, but footage later emerged showing her grappling with Rachele Bruni on the finish line, obstructing her chances for the medal.
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A major storm had meant that the start of the race was marred by shambolic scenes and it was a theme that, thanks to Muller, continued to the end.
‘The French swimmer has sunk me,’ Italy’s Bruni told media after the event. ‘At the finish she obstructed me and I could not touch the board. I am glad of the decision of the judges.’
After removing Muller, the gold medal eventually went to Sharon Van Rouwendaal, silver to Italy’s Bruni and bronze to Brazil’s Poliana Okimoto.
10km marathon result Sharon van Rouwendaaln (Netherlands) – Gold 1:56:32 Rachele Bruni (Italy) – Silver1:56:51 Poliana Okimoto (Brazil) – Bronze 1:56:51 Keri-anne Payne (GB) – 8th 1:57:23
‘This is the worst scenario that can happen,’ Philippe Lucas, Muller’s coach, told France’s RMC Sport.
‘I have not seen the images. I found that the decision was made very quickly anyway.
‘In sports, there is always injustice unfortunately. It’s like that.
‘But it’s not worth crying for 50 years. The podium is made, it’s dead. It’s over.’
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